Top 4 Roanoke Regionals – Mark Jackson

I’m Mark Jackson and I stream Pokémon VGC battles on Twitch. I first heard about VGC in 2009, but didn’t get a chance to compete in 2009 or 2010. I got back into VGC for the 2013 season and was able to attend a Regional in 2013 and 2014. It wasn’t until 2015 that I decided to get more into it by attending local events and learning how to get better as a player. I started streaming on Twitch just before the release of Pokémon Sun & Moon. I’m very consistent with my stream schedule and am I’m always willing to help others to get better and learn more about VGC.

Twitch Schedule: Tues-Sun 7:30pm ESTTwitter

Team’s Achievements

  • Top 4 at Roanoke Regionals
  • Top 2 at Rutgers PC
  • 2nd Rating on the USA Battle Spot ladder on Season 12 (Rating: 1833)

The Team

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Groudon @ Figy Berry
Ability: Drought
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 196 HP / 44 Atk / 4 Def / 236 SpD / 28 Spe
Careful Nature
– Precipice Blades
– Fire Punch
– Swords Dance
– Protect

Groudon was brought to this team to mainly counter Kyogre. Considering Kyogre only performs half of it’s full potential (if not less) in the sunlight. Groudon generally likes to sit in the back seat until Kyogre shows up so he’s able to jump in and erase the big thing that makes Kyogre so great. Groudon doesn’t usually like getting KOs if Kyogre is in the back, because he then has to retreat and come back in to get the sun back. It can be quite difficult to win the weather war vs Kyogre so it’s up to the rest of the team to force the Kyogre into Battle (Groudon’s Drought).

Groudon is also the best thing this team has to beat Zygarde. Setting up with Swords dance is the best way to beat Zygarde to get past the Power Construct.

Offensive Calcs:

  • -1 44 Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 236 HP / 4 Def Incineroar: 108-128 (54 – 64%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • +4 44 Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 4 HP / 28 Def Zygarde 50%: 184-217 (100 – 117.9%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive Calcs:

  • 252+ SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 196 HP / 236+ SpD Groudon in Sun: 90-108 (45 – 54%) — 36.7% chance to 2HKO
  • +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 196 HP / 236+ SpD Groudon: 169-199 (84.5 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Nihilego @ Focus Sash
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Sludge Bomb
– Power Gem
– Grass Knot
– Protect

Probably the most unique and most overlooked Pokémon on this team. Nihilego has tons of offensive potential in this format. With the ability to cause Super Effective damage to common Pokémon such as Incineroar, Xerneas, Yveltal, Kyogre. There isn’t too much to say other than it’s type coverage of Poison, Rock and Grass is able to get a lot of Super Effective damage, not to mention it’s reliable Speed and Special Defense.

Offensive Calcs:

  • 252 SpA Nihilego Sludge Bomb vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Xerneas: 156-186 (77.2 – 92%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Nihilego Power Gem vs. 236 HP / 236 SpD Incineroar: 116-140 (58 – 70%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive Calcs:

  • +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Nihilego: 86-102 (46.4 – 55.1%) — 64.5% chance to 2HKO

Amoonguss @ Occa Berry
Ability: Regenerator
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 228 HP / 164 Def / 116 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 8 Atk / 0 Spe
– Clear Smog
– Spore
– Rage Powder
– Protect

Amoonguss’s biggest role on this team is to remove Geomancy from boosted Xerneas. Amoonguss really comes in handy with Rage Powder redirection. Spore is always important to put any potential threats to sleep. Amoonguss has the most supportive role just like any other Amoonguss you see. The Occa Berry is very useful for Amoonguss to have as it’s held item because it’s able to survive Flare Blitz from Incineroar while still being able to Clear Smog Xerneas the same turn. Amoonguss also has the important job of removing Zygarde boost with Clear Smog and to also redirect Swagger and Heal Pulse from Tapu Fini with Rage Powder.

Defensive Calcs:

  • 4+ Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 228 HP / 164 Def Occa Berry Amoonguss: 91-108 (41.7 – 49.5%) — guaranteed 3HKO
  • 4+ Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 228 HP / 164 Def Occa Berry Amoonguss in Sun: 136-162 (62.3 – 74.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Incineroar @ Assault Vest
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 236 HP / 52 Atk / 76 Def / 92 SpD / 52 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Knock Off
– Snarl
– Fake Out

Of course, a VGC team is nothing without Incineroar. Intimidate pressure plus Fake Out as well as great typing. Flare Blitz boosted by Sun and Knock Off boosted by Dark Aura makes Incineroar quite an offensive hitter despite its little EV investment in Attack. The 52 Evs in Incineroar’s Speed allows it to outspeed, I would say, about 80% of other Incineroars in this format which means faster Fake Out on Turn 1. Snarl has also been useful for taking out 1HP Pokémon and weakening Special Attackers including Xerneas after Geomancy. Fun fact: Snarl hits Sub Xerneas

Offensive Calcs:

  • 52+ Atk Incineroar Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Shadow Shield Lunala: 210-248 (98.5 – 116.4%) — 87.5% chance to OHKO (With Dark Aura)
  • 52+ Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko in Sun: 153-180 (104.7 – 123.2%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive Calcs:

  • 252+ SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 236 HP / 92 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar in Sun: 74-90 (37 – 45%) — guaranteed 3HKO
  • +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 236 HP / 92 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 142-168 (71 – 84%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Tapu Koko @ Life Orb
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 60
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Thunderbolt
– Grass Knot
– Volt Switch
– Protect

Tapu Koko probably has the smallest role on the team. Tapu Koko’s favorite thing to do is to hit and run with Volt Switch. Thunderbolt is great to get good KOs on anything generic. Grass Knot also gives Tapu Koko the opportunity to KO heavy targets like Groudon. It’s something good to have so Tapu Koko doesn’t auto-lose to Groudon.

Offensive Calcs:

  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre in Electric Terrain: 187-221 (106.2 – 125.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Grass Knot (120 BP) vs. 188 HP / 244+ SpD Groudon: 114-135 (57.2 – 67.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive Calcs:

  • 252+ SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko in Sun: 73-87 (50 – 59.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko in Sun: 109-130 (74.6 – 89%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Yveltal @ Black Glasses
Ability: Dark Aura
Level: 60
EVs: 252 HP / 124 Atk / 4 Def / 124 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Knock Off
– Sucker Punch
– Roost
– Protect

Yveltal is the powerhouse on the whole team. Its biggest flaw is its slow Speed, however, Sucker Punch sometimes fixes that problem. Knock Off is it’s heaviest attack on damage with Blackglasses and Dark Aura. Yveltal just loves to Knock Off anything that has an item just to get it he can accomplish this with damage. Roost is a lifesaver since Yveltal has a very bulky spread in HP & Special Defense. Incineroar with Fake Out and Amoonguss with Rage Powder is very good at giving Yveltal a turn to heal the damage it’s taken with Roost.

Offensive Calcs:

  • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Thunder vs. 252 HP / 124 SpD Yveltal: 206-244 (88.4 – 104.7%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO
  • -1 124+ Atk Black Glasses Dark Aura Yveltal Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Shadow Shield Lunala: 198-234 (92.9 – 109.8%) — 50% chance to OHKO

Defensive Calcs:

  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 124 SpD Yveltal: 190-226 (81.5 – 96.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Kyogre Thunder vs. 252 HP / 124 SpD Yveltal in Electric Terrain: 208-246 (89.2 – 105.5%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO

Team Play

The way on how to effectively use this team is to put yourself in a position where you’re able to knock out the Pokémon you need to win the endgame. Winning the weather war over Kyogre’s rain is always very important. These Pokémon can work together with a great offense as well as defensive switching.

Core Combinations and Common Leads

+ is a common lead to stop +. With this, you’re able to Sucker Punch Kyogre and Power Gem Tornadus. It’s a guaranteed 2KO on each of them. Yveltal is also able to live Water Spout + Hurricane so you could also Knock Off Kyogre on Turn 1 as well.

+ is another good lead if you’re looking to lead with Fake Out and just start removing items with Knock Off.

Team Match-ups

The important thing to always remember when playing against Kyogre is that you don’t want Groudon getting too many KOs to allow Kyogre to come in for free to take the sun away. This probably doesn’t matter too much if Groudon has a partner that can take out Kyogre instantly. Tapu Koko can Thunderbolt non Scarf Kyogre, or maybe if it’s in range for Yveltal to KO with Sucker Punch. Groudon mostly likes to clean up in the end game when Kyogre is one of the last two left.

+ is probably this team’s worst matchup. The best way to approach it is with +. With Groudon’s Swords Dance you can set yourself up to OHKO Zygarde without having to worry about the Power Construct. Amoonguss’s job is to Clear Smog any Stat Boosts Zygarde get. It can also redirect Swagger and Heal Pulse from Tapu Fini. To OHKO Zygarde Groudon will need +4 Attack above Zygarde’s Defense without chip damage.

Rundown of Tournament

My matchup vs Justin Burns in Top 4 was a very favorable matchup in my favor. However, Justin was able to find the big thing to keep me from doing anything and that was Spore with Amoonguss. Even though this team has a number of ways to beat Amoonguss, Justin also realized how much I needed to take it out if I had a chance at winning. Justin was able to play the best he could and he was able to execute the best game plan to overcome the disadvantage in the matchup he was in. GGs Justin.


In conclusion, I’d say this is just a very offensive team with lots of power, great synergy and a great matchup for many different team types. So play the weather war carefully, keep Yveltal alive and be sure to position yourself in the best way possible.

Good luck and have fun.

P.S: I’ll be streaming daily Battle Spot content on Twitch.

Credit to bluemak for featured image

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